Why a Licensed PI Uses Disposable Phone Numbers at Work

Many professionals and small business owners rely on Burner to run their business, so we thought it would be interesting to showcase some of our most compelling customers, people who rely on Burner and our commitment to personal privacy to help run their day-to-day operations.


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The first person we thought of was Marc Bourne, a cyber intelligence expert and licensed private investigator from the Know It All Intelligence Group. His expertise has been featured on ABC News, Fox Business, and Marc Cuban’s Cyber Dust app.

Marc Bourne - Burner User and Cyber Intelligence Expert

More importantly, the company he co-founded is a “premier corporate and legal investigative services firm,” and he, his clients, and his licensed private investigators rely on Burner in their work to protect themselves and their clients.

“I love Burner,” Marc told me in a short interview (audio and video embedded below). “I think that Burner app is one of the greatest inventions. We use it on a daily basis in almost every aspect of our investigations.”

Using Burner to Stay Organized

When I inquired about Marc’s ideal setup, he told me that not only does it help protect his personal information, but it also keeps him organized. “Usually, we will create a separate Burner number for every investigation that we're doing. This helps keep our investigators organized with who they are speaking to in regards to a specific investigation and who is calling them back.”

More Flexible Business Phone Lines

How Carrier Numbers Expose Your Personal Information

I was also very interested in the chance to dig into how carrier phone numbers can expose people’s personal information. At Burner, we often encounter people who have no idea that their personal information has probably already been exposed through nonchalant usage of their carrier phone number online.

Marc’s background in cyber intelligence gives him unique insights into this danger.

Burner for Business Phone Numbers - Interviews
Matt: As a cyber intelligence expert, can you tell us a little bit about how carrier phone numbers—which are the numbers that the carrier assigns to someone when they give them a phone plan—are associated with public and private records of people's personal information?

Marc: It's very interesting, and it's more publicized than most people know. If you have a regular phone number from any one of the top cell carriers, I can usually find subscriber information in just a matter of minutes. Prepaid phones, it's a little bit harder. Apps like Burner, it's virtually impossible to find subscriber information because of it being such a private app and using disposable phone numbers.

But you also have to look at marketing. Every time you go to a supermarket and apply for these reward cards, the first thing they ask you for is your phone number. The next thing you're doing is getting all kinds of bulk commercial mail, advertisements, they're getting your email address—which, that's another story is they can grab that kind of information from your cell phone number.

When you use Burner, you're completely cutting that off. You're completely limiting the marketing, you're completely limiting the advertising people will do because they don't know who that number belongs to so they can't sell that information to third parties who then prey on people to try to sell them things.

Thanks for taking the time to speak to us, Marc. We’re proud to be your number one provider of temporary and disposable phone numbers to protect you and your clients.

Visit Marc’s website to see more of his excellent interviews at PrimeTimePI.com.

Interview with Marc Bourne, Cyber Intelligence Expert

Audio on SoundCloud:

YouTube video of the same interview:

Transcript of Marc’s Interview

Matt: Marc is a licensed private investigator and cyber intelligence expert, and he's the vice president and co-founder of the Know It All Intelligence Group, a national investigative services company based in Philadelphia, PA. Before we get started, can you just tell us a little bit about your background? How did you get into private investigation and cyber intelligence?

Marc: I've always been curious about investigation, security, law enforcement. Growing up, I wanted to get into law enforcement. Then as I started working in the security and investigative end, I saw that there was a complete industry in the private sector that pretty much dealt with the same thing that police and law enforcement agencies deal with on a daily basis. So it was at that time that I decided to take that road down the private sector.

Know It All Intelligence Group is entering its eighteenth year this year for all types of investigations. Business to business investigations, as well as private, personal investigations such as missing persons, cheating spouses, insurance fraud, stolen items—you name it, we do it.

Matt: So we're here today to talk about Burner. How do you use Burner, specifically, in your job?

Marc: First of all, Matt, I've got to tell you—I love Burner. I think that Burner app is one of the greatest inventions. We use it on a daily basis in almost every aspect of our investigations.

Usually, we will create a separate Burner number for every investigation that we're doing. This helps keep our investigators organized with who they are speaking to in regards to a specific investigation and who is calling them back in regards to a specific investigation.

We utilize some of the virtual phone numbers for what we call pre-texting, which is an investigative industry term that basically means that we hide our identity when we call places to obtain information. For instance, if I knew you were in Maryland for a conference, and I started calling around to hotels to try and find you, I would use a Burner number so that my number couldn't be traced back to our investigative firm. We utilize that when we're making certain deals on Craigslist, when we're searching human trafficking, things like that. So Burner really plays an important part in our everyday investigations.

Matt: So it protects you and it protects your clients.

Marc: Yes, absolutely.

Matt: Are there cases where you have your clients set up a Burner number, too?

Marc: Yeah. In cases where people are looking for privacy, we have had a couple instances where some of our clients are adult webcam actresses and actors, and they want to keep their private life completely separate from their webcam life. They have come to us for consultation when their personal life has gotten exposed. So the first thing we tell them is get a Burner app, make sure that anything you use for your professional life is on the Burner app. Any phone numbers that you're giving our for your private life, that can be your personal phone number. Along with any other security tips that we give them. Yes, we definitely recommend Burner to all of our clients that are seeking privacy.

Matt: So as a way to separate your personal life and your work life, and as a way to protect your personal information.

Marc: Yeah, absolutely.

Matt: As a cyber intelligence expert, can you tell us a little bit about how carrier phone numbers—which are the numbers that the carrier assigns to someone when they give them a phone plan—are associated with public and private records of people's personal information?

Marc: It's very interesting, and it's more publicized than most people know. If you have a regular phone number from any one of the top cell carriers, I can usually find subscriber information in just a matter of minutes. Prepaid phones, it's a little bit harder. Apps like Burner, it's virtually impossible to find subscriber information because of it being such a private app and using disposable phone numbers.

But you also have to look at marketing. Every time you go to a supermarket and apply for these reward cards, the first thing they ask you for is your phone number. The next thing you're doing is getting all kinds of bulk commercial mail, advertisements, they're getting your email address—which, that's another story is they can grab that kind of information from your cell phone number.

When you use Burner, you're completely cutting that off. You're completely limiting the marketing, you're completely limiting the advertising people will do because they don't know who that number belongs to so they can't sell that information to third parties who then prey on people to try to sell them things.

Matt: Do you have any other recommendations or tips for people about how to use your number safely online or in person?

Marc: The one thing I try to stress to college students is get a Burner number. With a lot of this online dating, meeting people in the bar scene, college girls have no clue about privacy and safety. They're not thinking of that. They go to bars, they have that false sense of security, and unfortunately sexual assaults in colleges are happening on a regular basis. And what we've seen is that people are getting information just by a phone number. You meet somebody at a bar and you give them your phone number...you can go online and pay $10 to these online companies and they can get a ton of information off of your phone number.

When you're meeting somebody for the first time and there may be a potential romantic interest, give them your Burner number. That way, if you're not feeling it you can delete or Burn the number and be done with it. Eventually, if things kick off you can give them your personal number. But I always stress that in the online dating scenes, Burner app is essential for safety when meeting new people as well.

Matt: Awesome, that's really great information. Thanks, Marc. I don't really have any more questions. Is there anything else you want to add?

Marc: Like I said, I just love the Burner app. I can't wait to seeing the upgrades that you guys keep coming up with it. It's a great app.